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"My Son Could Become Suicidal" Warns Gary McKinnon's Mother

After last week's announcement by Home Secretary Alan Johnson that he will not intervene in the extradition of Computer hacker Gary McKinnon, the hacker’s mother has came forward and claimed that her son wants to face the court but not in the US.

Gary McKinnon, who is diagnosed with Aspergers’s Syndrome, is facing up to 60 years in prison for hacking into US government systems including those belonging to the Pentagon.

Janis Sharp, Mr. McKinnon’s mother, talking to BBC’s Andrew Marr show said that her son should not be extradited to US even if he doesn’t have Asperger’s Syndrome.

She claimed that the British citizens had a disadvantage in foreign courts as burden of proof was different in every legal system. She also voiced her concerns over her son’s mental state and said that his mental condition was so fragile that he could commit suicide if jailed.

McKinnon, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in 2008 is accused of hacking in to 97 United States military and NASA computers in 2001 and 2002 including the networks owned by NASA, the US Army, US Navy, Department of Defense, and the US Air Force. He used the name ‘Solo’. He later claimed that he was looking for a proof on the existence of UFOs.

Our Comments

The McKinnon case is drawing to a sad end it seems. The case has been thoroughly documented on a number of websites including ours and one thought that seems to be a common ground is the fact that the hacker appears to have been the wrong man at the wrong place.

Related Links

My son is prepared for trial – but not in US – says Scots hacker's mother

(Scotsman)

My hacker lad feels suicidal

(The Sun)

Hacker 'wants to be prosecuted in the UK'

(The Press Association)

Janis Sharp: 'I wont rest. I don't want to lose my son'

(The Independent)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.